Another new release by Spaghetty Town Records! These guys from Houston, Texas may look like a mix of TURBONEGRO and some old-school heavy metal dudes but they sound like a real ’77 punk band. “Get Some” takes us right into the heart of the action with some infectious dirty punk’n’roll with glammy vocals! Songs like “Do Your Thing” (you’ll even get some wild saxophone in this one!) or “Buried In Leather” show us a band with the energy of old AC/DC and a raw garage rock production while the spirits of the DEAD BOYS and early TURBONEGRO can be heard in “Savage Heathen”, “Dynamite Tramp” or in “Good Time Motherfucker.” Early TOILET BOYS also some to mind at times (“247 Action”) as well as JOHNNY THUNDERS (“Scream and Shout”.) That’s probably enough for you to check this album out, am I wrong? /Laurent C.
I-94 Recordings offers us two new singles by two TRASH BRATS members:
RICKY RAT- “She Feels Like a Good Thing” b/w “Born in Detroit -7” vinyl single
Our good friend Ricky is back on vinyl after recording almost 150 songs on video during the 2020 pandemic.
“She Feels Like a Good Thing” has a big NEW YORK DOLLS vibe and the backing vocals add a touch of old HANOÏ ROCKS so need to say that glam punk afficinados will love this one! “Born In Detroit” is a cover of The ROCKETS and Jimmie Bones guests on piano. Good old Chuck Berry kind of rock’n’roll!
Brian McCarty & the Jen-U-Wine Faux Diamond Band “Hamtramck Jukebox” b/w “A Place in the Sun” – 7″ inch vinyl
“Hamtramck Jukebox” pays tribute to Lili Karwowksi and her bar Lili’s 21 which was the hangout bar for the TRASH BRATS back in the day. This is American powerpop with good punk rock’n’roll energy and Ricky Rat is on guitar on this one. “A Place In The Sun” is a Stevie Wonder cover that sounds like a good old rock’n’roll classic, well done!
The DERELLAS offered us a glimpse of the new version of the band last year with “Highrise Supersize” and “Inner City Rock’n’Roll”, two early MANICS influenced amphetamine songs that you’ll also find on this brand new album. The band describes the tracks of the new abum as “songs of defiance and hope, fear and LUV for the 21st Century” which is quite an appropriate description. Opening with “Don’t Tell Me What I Did Last Night”, a heavy rock’n’roll/punk song with a slight ZODIAC MINDWARP touch in Timmy’s vocals, the band then offers us some razor-sharp ’77 punk with “Underground LUV.” Speaking of “LUV” you’ll hear a bit of NEW YORK DOLLS in “Emergency 2020” and you’ll find quite a few good decadent anthems like “Soho Hotel” and “Life’s Crashing”. “Pressure Gonna Get You” brings a touch of 90s noise rock to the album, “Sweet Fatal Attraction” is a pretty good glam punk tune and Timmy’s voice gets to the edge in “Sonic Detonator”, you’ll even hear a bit of DEAD BOYS in “Our World Tomorrow”! This is spray-painted rather than polished and you’ll probably luv it! /Laurent C.
Atlanta rock’n’roll gang RMBLR offers us their second 5 song EP now on Spaghetty Town Records. The catchy single and video “My Main Muscle” sparkled my interest delivering some catchy punk rock’n’roll with with a good dose of fun and a wild vibe often missing in bands today. You can also hear this in the ’77 punk stained “Machine Gun!!” or “Hurricane Kiss” while the glam bootboy “Tal’m Bout” brings GIUDA to mind. Concerned with American police violence and racial injustice, RMBLR hits us with “Move Over” and leaves us wanting to hear much more. Bringing back the spirit of Bovver and Sharpies with a proto-punk/early glam sound, glitter rock mullets and hooligan vocals, RMBLR are ready to conquer the world whether you want it or not! We’ll be sure looking forward to seeing them in Europe. /Laurent C.
France has never been the best place for glam rock’n’roll but there were a few jewel bands in the past. Some of you might think of The FRENCHIES in the 70s or bands like TEARS and TEASIN’ BABES in the early 90s but the best French glam band in the mid-80s was undoubtedly BAD LOSERS. Twisted Soul Records has just reissued the band’s album enriched with some great bonus material and a 4 song vinyl EP for Record Store Day on June 12th. Guitarist Mister T.Jones answered our questions…
Can you tell us a bit about the history of BAD LOSERS?
As far as I’m concerned, the story started in 1983 when I joined the band in Paris. BAD LOSERS was originally a garage rock punk band from Toulon (Var) that had explored most of their local scene.
Did you have a precise idea of how you wanted to sound and look from the start ?
It was clear to me as a guitar player that I wanted to play in the spirit of the bands that had influenced me such as The ROLLING STONES , T.REX,the NEW YORK DOLLS and all the band we used to listen to like The GUN CLUB or The ONLY ONES. Since BAD LOSERS wanted to head in that direction, we quickly got along well. The way we looked developped as years went by just like our haircuts! (Laughs)
You recorded the album in London in 1985. How did that happen? How were the recording sessions ? Any anecdotes ?
We recorded the LP in August 1985, we had just signed a record deal with Parisian record label GMG. We wanted to record it with Peter Perett (The ONLY ONES) who had worked with bands we used to like such as WASTED YOUTH (with some future members of FLESH FOR LULU) but the record label decided to send us to Dave Goodman who was the live sound engineer of The SEX PISTOLS and who recorded their songs before “Nevermind The Bollocks”.
Dave was great to us as a producer, always listening to what we had to say, from our arrangement ideas to the production ones. We wanted to have female backing vocals and sitar on one of the songs (“Evil Sacrifices”) and he played it himself. He even went and record traffic jams on Oxford Street (that can be heard as the intro of “On Main Street“.) We recorded 8 songs in 5 days (mix included.) The mastering was made at world famous Abbey Road Studios.
There was The DOGS D’AMOUR and HANOÏ ROCKS among others at that time in London. Did you ever think of relocating there just like HANOÏ did?
We met The DOGS D’AMOUR in Paris before the became a well-known band, we felt really close to the way they played rock’n’roll live as well as the way they looked, the glam image we also had here in France. We wanted to move to London but a few things hold us back in France. On the other hand we really thought of being the French glam band in London.
In late 1986 they sent us Ian Grant who played with GUNSLINGERS. We were HANOÏ ROCKS fans because they were one of the rare European bands playing so tight and so loud at that time, their Marquee show is just timelessly killer!
Were you feeling close to any other French bands?
We were friends with WILD CHILD and a few other bands we happened to play with like The JET BOYS but honestly we were the only band with such a glam image playing NEW YORK DOLLS kind of rock’n’roll in those days. Most French bands at that time were part of the “alternative punk” scene/movement.
Johnny Thunders and Stiv Bators were also in Paris in those days. We can hear Stiv sing “Honky Tonk Women” with you on the CD. Did you happen to share a stage more than once?
Unfortunately not! It was the only good occasion to share a stage together. I think I saw Johnny Thunders at least 10 times when he was in Paris whether it was for solo gigs or with Henri Paul Cosa Nostra or The HEARTBREAKERS. As far as Stiv is concerned, it was a great surprise to play with him! We were invited to play as Johnny Thunders’ backing band at the New Moon in Paris and once we got in, the promoter told us that Stiv Bators would also be there!
During the first part of the night Johnny was playing with only BAD LOSERS’ rhythm section and his friend Henri Paul Tortosa while I had prepared cover song list that we used with Stiv for the second part of the night.
It was memorable and so unique to hear Stiv sing a ROLLING STONES song and even a HEARTBREAKERS song we knew by heart. You can listen to the “Honky Tonk Women” cover with Stiv on vocals on the “Southern Style” CD.
There was several line-up changes in the band. Wasn’t it too difficult to find people who could fit considering your style?
It was indeed very difficult to find a guitar player who could match with our tastes and needs.
I found Jean-Paul (N’Diago Pop) who played on the album and who was a 60s/70s ROLLING STONES fan just like me and a really good guitar player when it comes to play Chuck Berry/famous bluesmen kind of guitar chords.
There were various reasons for these line-up changes and usually personal ones. Jean-Paul went and toured in England, Ian who then played with us had the right image for us and so did Phil. The other ones were either shooting stars in BAD LOSERS or just out of control! (Laughs)
A band like HANOÏ ROCKS kinda suffered from being caught in between several music styles, “too glam for punks”, “too punk for hard rockers”, etc. Did you feel the same thing with BAD LOSERS?
Totally! We were a rock’n’roll band before all and in the middle of the 80s, it was all about the “alternative punk scene singing in French (for most of them)” in France.
BAD LOSERS had several sides, a punk rock side but also a lot of 70s influences. Alike the NEW YORK DOLLS or HANOÏ ROCKS, I don’t think we can use the word “hard rock” to describe us even though we could think about it nowadays mainly because of the way we looked.
“Southern Style” will be out on June 12h. This EP was also recorded in London. How come it wasn’t released back in the day?
These 4 original songs were supposed to be included on a second album that was never released.
We shopped for record labels to get a better the deal so that the band could get bigger. Major labels were asking us to sing in French and we refused because our music style was purely Anglo-saxon. Then we had some line-up changes and desires for a different music for some of us. We got tired of it and the band broke up in 1988.
Both CD and vinyl EP are released by Twisted Soul Records. How did that happen?
We’ve had this project for a long time. We had to wait until the birth of the record label and their start as a professional company. We also had to dig for files like this 1985 “Waiting For The Man” (VELVET UNDERGROUND) cover which was a demo with Richard, a great guitarist from Toulon who unfortunately couldn’t stay in the band. Same thing with our MOTT THE HOOPLE cover “One Of The Boys” recorded live at the Gibus Club when we opened for The CHERRY BOMBZ (Nasty Suicide introduced the band onstage with us before we started playing) or the song with Stiv Bators.
How did the band break up? Was it a brutal stop or was it more a long-run thing?
It was more a long-run thing for several various reasons and a desire to do other things. Also because it was a bit hard to see our future as BAD LOSERS at the end of the 80s in France.
Do you think the band would have explored other music territories if you didn’t split? On the EP we can feel a will to try new things and sounds, a bit like The LORDS OF THE NEW CHURCH or when The DAMNED released “Phantasmagoria”…
The style of these four unreleased songs is a bit different especially in their arrangements. We wanted to have a brass section and a boogie piano for the pure rock’n’roll “Southern Style”, but also some orchestral arrangements for the ballad “Girl In Uniform.” There’s also “Century Jane”, a 70s rock song and another song that can bring The LORDS OF THE NEW CHURCH or The DAMNED (when they experimented with darker influences) to mind indeed.
After the band’s split you went and explored new musical horizons. Can you tell us about it?
At the end of BAD LOSERS I bought a Home Studio which was a very new thing in those days. Bass, drums, everything was in! (Laughs), then I wrote music for advertisements/commercials before forming an electronic music duo that allowed me to travel and play in many different countries. The band (MOOG SPECTRAL) still exists to this day. In the 00s, I got back to my guitar and started a band called The JONES. We played as a backing band for Chris Wilson (FLAMIN’ GROOVIES) or Willie “Loco” Alexander.
I’m also part of an electro-rock project with Holeg Spies, we have some releases out on a British record label and a song remixed by Youth (bassplayer in KILLING JOKE.) I also work on songs at home. They’ll be released this year…
Did you ever think about a BAD LOSERS live reunion?
Honestly it’s almost impossible to get the band back as it used to be in those days full of music, fun and rock’n’roll!!! But this Facebook group (https://www.facebook.com/groups/BadLosers) as well as the quality of this reissue with 4 unreleased songs, live material, a demo, a poster and beautiful words from Patrick Eudeline almost make me want to play some good old BAD LOSERS rock’n’roll riffs.
After multiple singles, EPs, tours, van breakdowns, floors slept on, more tours and a pandemic, RAVAGERS debut full length, “Badlands” will finally see the light of day in September 2021.
Their second single “Down That Road”, a fine mix of powerpop and ’77 punk rock and their full length “Badlands”will be released in the US by Spaghetty Town Records and in Germany with Wanda Records.
It’s always good to see bands that stick to their guns and PLASTIC TEARS are definitely one of them! Lead vocalist Miqu December tells us about the new album « Anthems For The Misfits » and much more!
You were one of the very first bands I interviewed back in 2000 I think. Can you introduce the band for those who might still not have heard of you?
We usually describe our music as sleazy dark rock’n’roll with a glam punk attitude. We’ve been around for a long time since, and we’ve had our ups and downs. So we’ve named ourselves the rats of rock’n’roll, we survive anything. We do what we love, good old rock’n’roll, and spice it up with a little bit of musical this and that. We’re not trying to please anyone, but I’d still say most people who like rock music might like us, as our music draws from different musical sources.
How did things change for the band in 20 years apart from the obvious line-up changes?
I guess we’ve stayed true to our musical roots, but of course the band has evolved and gotten better. We’ve always made music we’d like to listen to ourselves, so no need to make drastic changes. But I guess as we’re a bit more stable nowadays, concentrating more on the music instead of partying, I think we’ve matured much also in a musical sense.
Can you tell us about your new album « Anthems For Misfits »?
We started working on it pretty soon after the last album, Angels With Attitude, was released. So in about a year after the release of that album we were back in the studio again. We started recording summer 2019, did a European tour, and continued recording. Soon after that the pandemic showed up, and it slowed down the recording pace. So it was quite a long process, one or two day of recording, then a break for a couple of weeks, and we continued again. But this slow pace suits us well, and I think it’s one of the reasons why the album turned out so good. The album is pretty diverse, and there’s songs ranging from pop to punk, and everything in between. The opener Doomsday Girls is a fast funny rock’n’roll song that should wake up the listener immediately. Followed by the punk rock sirens of Riot Zone, at this point everyone should be awake! On the third track we lower the tempo to let the listener calm down with the pop desperation of Clash In The Night. Radar Eyes is a moody dark piece that I like a lot. Other highlights for me are the rebellious Restless Outsider, the dark gothic death waltz of Candlelight Hate Affair and the Elvis goes glam punk of Nobody Likes A Crybaby.
Your first single/video « Riot Zone » is quite appropriate in 2021 when looking at the state of the world… Can rock’n’roll still be rebellious to you?
Yeah, I didn’t guess when I wrote the lyrics how topical they would be. And when the label made the video for it just a few days before the Capitol Hill riots, it made the song almost controversial. Rebellious, it depends. Maybe r’n’r can be rebellious on a small scale. We’ve always been a band that has walked it’s own path and done what we want to do, no matter what others think. I guess that’s some kinda rebellion too.
We can still hear Hanoï Rocks/Lords Of The New Church influences in these new songs. Can you think of any other bands or artists that influenced you for this new album? « Hallucinations » for example seems to head in a different direction.
It’s not intentional, but I guess we come from the same school of rock as they do. And we do love those bands. I can’t say any band, at least consciously, has directly influenced this album. I listened a lot to Masked Intruder, The Interrupters and Cheap Trick before the new album, but I don’t think we sound anything like them. Songwriting, for me at least, isn’t usually anything that’s planned. The ideas just come from sudden bursts of inspiration. Hallucinations is actually an old song that we demoed ages ago. We wanted to remake it, as it was too good a song to be left unheard. It’s a really special song, and I really don’t know what to compare it to or to what genre it might belong. It’s one of the songs on the album that stands out, in a good way.
« Divine » is really catchy, was it the kind of songs that just come out naturally and was easy to write?
That’s the second old song remade, it was also demoed in the beginning of our career. That version was like a ska punk glam rock song, or something. Sounds weird, but it was really funny and catchy. Still, we wanted to make a more straightforward version, as we felt the riff and bass line were meant for a rock’n’roll song. So it has a long history, but if I remember right, it was a song that came out fast and easy. It just took it quite many years to find it’s final form. In the end, we’re really happy with how it turned out, it’s a catchy fun song that could cheer you up even on a bad day.
The last two songs on the album, « Communication » and « Imaginary Virgin Mary ” are great, one being a glam punk hit and the other one an amazing dark rock’n’roll song. Can you tell us about these two songs and why you chose to put them at the end of the record?
We gave a lot of thought to the song order, and wanted the album to be strong and balanced, yet highlight the differences between the songs without making it inconsistent. As you said, Communication is a glam punk song with funny lyrics about the invention and use of the telephone, with an underlying message about loneliness. If you stayed awake during history classes in school, you know that A.G. Bell, who is mentioned in the lyrics, is Alexander Graham Bell who was declared the inventor of the telephone. History lesson over! Imaginary Virgin Mary is probably the heaviest song on the album, but it’s still a rock song, not metal. It has a kind of creepy ominous feel and tells the story of being bullied and taking revenge. We wanted to end the album with a bang, so two tougher tracks at the end did the job. And the piano ending of Mary was perfect to close the album.
Is there going to be a vinyl release of the album?
We would love to have a vinyl version too, but it’s not part of our deal with Wormholedeath Records. So if anyone is interested in working with us on a vinyl version, please get in touch!
You released a split CD with Paradise Alley in 2019, can you tell us how it happened? Both bands seem to be good friends.
Yeah, me and Steve of Paradise Alley met already in the nineties and we’ve stayed good friends ever since. Paradise Alley got active again after a pretty long break and they wanted to release a new song, but they didn’t have a drummer yet. So they asked us if our drummer Eco could play the drums on the track, and he was happy to help. Steve and I shared the lead vocals, and most of us shouted the backing vocals. It was a fun and different collaboration, as we recorded in Helsinki and Paradise Alley in the UK.
What do you think about streaming shows? Would you play one?
I guess they’re an ok substitute for real live shows, but of course it’s not the same. Not at all. But I understand why they are done, and I’m not saying we’re never gonna do one. But to tell you the truth I’m not too excited about them. The intimacy and intensity of real live shows can never be achieved with a stream show.
Last albums you’ve been enjoying?
In the last couple of weeks I’ve been listening to the unreleased third album by Beat Angels, it’s great! I’ve also been spinning the new albums from Suzi Quatro, The Streetwalkin’ Cheetahs, Alice Cooper, Pat Todd & the Rankoutsiders and Jason Ringenberg. All good albums, so give them a listen if you haven’t already.
Any new bands from Helsinki we should check out?
They’ve been around for a while and have already released two albums, but Daggerplay is a band I sincerely recommend. Their mix of punk rock’n’roll and power pop is very convincing and catchy. They’ve also just released a new single, so check that and the band out!
It’s hard to plan anything these days but please tell us if you have any future plans yet…
We’ve got some cool shows lined up for the summer, but it remains to be seen if those can be carried through. Otherwise, I think we’ll continue banging our heads against the wall and see which one breaks down first. At the moment we focus on promoting the new album online, as there’s not so much more that we can do. Have a load of ideas for new songs, so we’ll start working on those at some point. So our future plans are to stay safe and keep rocking, and we hope you do too!
|Finnish Hard Rockers PLASTIC TEARS proudly unleash the single & video for “Riot Zone”, track taken from their upcoming album “Anthems For Misfits” due for release on 26 03 2021 via Wormholedeath Records worldwide.|
|Statement about the single & video:Are you ready for a rock ’n’ roll riot?!!“Riot Zone is a fast loud punky rock song about standing up for yourself, freedom, peace and fighting the injustices of the world. About being the underdog, finding your way and standing up for your rights. It’s a song that makes you wanna raise your fist, bang your head and pogo like crazy! The lyrics are meant to be uplifting rock ‘n’ roll rebellion and defiance, with a slight socially critical undertone. So don’t take life too seriously and strengthen yourself through the power of rock ‘n’ roll! Plastic Tears new album ‘Anthems For Misfits’ is released this year through Wormholedeath Records.”|
PS. Plastic Tears condemns all violence and violent riots.